ISSN 0043-3144 printed version



Scope and policy

The Journal is international in scope, with author and editorial contributions from across the globe. The focus is on clinical and epidemiological aspects of tropical and infectious diseases, new and re-emerging infections, chronic non-communicable diseases, and medical conditions prevalent in the Latin America-Caribbean region, and of significance to global health, especially in developing countries. The Journal covers all medical disciplines, as well as basic and translational research elucidating the pathophysiologic basis of diseases or focusing on new therapeutic approaches, and publishes original scientific research, reviews, case reports, brief communications, letters, commentaries and medical images. The Journal publishes twelve issues and six supplements annually. English is the language of publication but Abstracts are also duplicated in Spanish. Most of the articles are submitted at the authors' initiative but some are solicited by the Editor-in-Chief. All papers submitted to the Journal are reviewed by an Editorial Committee and at least one referee. Unless expressly stated, the Editorial Board does not accept responsibility for authors' opinions.


Instructions for authors

Authors' Professional and Ethical Responsibilities


Only those persons who contributed directly to the intellectual content of the paper should be cited as authors. They should meet all of the following criteria:

  1. conceived and planned the work that led to the paper or interpreted the evidence it presents, or both;
  2. wrote the paper or reviewed successive versions and took part in the revision process;
  3. approved the final version.

Authors submitting papers for publication must confirm and disclose which of the authors meet each or all the above criteria.

Covering letter

Each manuscript should be accompanied by a covering letter which includes statements concerning authorship and informed consent (see above); confirms that the contents of the manuscript have not been published or are not being submitted for publication elsewhere, and by a disclosure of financial interests or other dual commitments that represent potential conflicts of interest for any of the authors. The name, full mailing address, telephone, fax number and e-mail address of the author responsible for correspondence on the paper, as well as the signatures of all authors should be included. Unless otherwise requested by the corresponding author, his or her fax number and e-mail address will be published.

Ethical responsibilities

The Methods section must include a statement confirming review of the study by the appropriate local Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board, and indicating that material relating to human investigations and animal experiments conforms to standards currently applied in the country where the study is based. Where appropriate, this statement should also indicate the procedure used to ensure adherence to ethical guidelines on informed consent and should affirm that such consent was obtained. Written consent must be obtained from the patient, legal guardian or executor for publication of any details or photographs that may identify an individual. Evidence of such consent must be submitted with the manuscript. The Journal reserves the right not to publish an article on the grounds that ethical or experimental standards have not been reached.


All manuscripts reaching the office of the Editor will be acknowledged, and at the conclusion of the review procedure, the author(s) will be notified of acceptance or rejection of the paper or the need for revision of the paper. The decision of the editorial board is final with regards to rejected articles. Rejected articles will not be returned to the authors.

The editorial-subcommittee has the right to return sub-standard manuscripts to the authors, rather than passing them on to the reviewers. This implies outright rejection of the manuscript.


Authors of papers accepted for publication in the West Indian Medical Journal must agree to transfer copyright to The University of the West Indies, publishers of the Journal. This signifies transfer of rights for print or electronic publication, production reprints, facsimile, microfilm or microfiche.

Assembling and submitting the manuscript

Manuscript format and style

Manuscripts should be arranged as follows: title page, abstract, text, list of references, acknowledgements, tables, figures and figure legends. Each component should begin on a separate page and all pages should be numbered sequentially starting with the title page. Authors are urged to seek guidance on grammar, punctuation and scientific writing.

Manuscripts should not exceed 12 typed pages (including abstracts and references) and be double spaced throughout with left and right margins of 2.5 cm.

Text should be typed, using Times New Roman at 12 font. The original and three copies of the manuscript must be submitted with a compact disc (CD) in Microsoft Word. Only the latest version of the manuscript including tables and figures should be on the CD. The CD should be clearly labelled with the full file name and the name of the first author. Compact discs will not be returned to authors. Manuscripts may also be submitted via e-mail to the following address: However, all requirements for submission must be maintained when submitting electronically.

Guidance for the length of articles is as follows: book reviews, 450 words; letters, 450 words; short communication, 800 words; editorials (including references), 1000 words; case reports, 1500 words; special articles, 2000 words; viewpoint, 2000 words; original articles and reviews (including abstract and references), 2500 words.

Headings should be short (three or four words), positioned flush with the left margin with initial capital letters. First level headings are boldface; second level headings, regular type; and third level headings, italics.

Use SI units throughout, generic names for all drugs and limit abbreviations to those that are absolutely necessary. The proprietary name for a drug is included if it is better known than the generic name, to differentiate among drug forms or if a specific trade preparation was used in a study or involved in an adverse effect. The explanations for the abbreviations must be given when they first appear in the text, but are not necessary for units of measurements or standard scientific symbols. The name and location of manufacturers of equipment and instruments must be given in parentheses in the text.

All spelling should conform to that in the recent edition of the Oxford Concise English Dictionary.

Title page

The title page should include:

  • the main title (and subtitle, if any) which should be as brief as possible while conveying the essential features of the article's contents;
  • the authors should be listed (without their qualifications) in the order in which they will appear in the published article with the institutional affiliation of each author;
  • a short title (to be used on the continuing pages of the published article);
  • Three or four keywords or phrases for indexing purposes;
  •  a brief synopsis (limit: 40 words) for original articles, reviews and special articles, to be used in the contents to describe the manuscript.


This should not be more than 250 words and should be structured: objective, methods, results, conclusion.


Papers reporting original specific scientific evidence would usually be divided into the following sections: introduction, methods, results, discussion, list of references. All studies that include numerical data and use statistical inference must include, in the Methods section, detailed descriptions of methods used for statistical analysis, including the statistical software. It is suggested that the Discussion include: a brief synopsis of the key findings; consideration of possible mechanisms and explanations; comparison with relevant findings from other published studies and limitations of the present study and methods used to minimize or compensate for these limitations. The paper should conclude with a brief summary of the implications of the work.

Case Report

A Case Report need not be structured with the same formality as a scientific paper. It is advised that case reports should, however, conform to the following format:

Introduction: The introductory paragraph should not exceed 80 words;

Case Report: this should include a short relevant history of the patient(s), examination, investigations, differential diagnosis and treatment;

Discussion: lessons to be learnt from the case report on the progress of the case. The discussion must be on the reported case.


Authors are encouraged to submit commentaries and viewpoints on issues of topical interest, or in response to published articles. Viewpoints are also not structured with the same formality as a scientific paper; however, they should conform to the following format:

Abstract: a general overview of the paper; it needs not be structured;

Introduction: varies in length but it introduces the topic, provides background information and states the point of the paper. Authors can insert their additional sub-headings before concluding.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor are short papers that are a response to a published article, highlight a case report, or a review. An abstract or structure is not necessary but they should include keywords. Photographs and/or figures are also accepted.


Responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of references rests entirely with the authors. References will not be checked in detail by the Editors but papers in which errors are detected are unlikely to be accepted. References should be numbered in the order in which they are first cited in the text, tables and legend to figures using Arabic numerals in brackets on the line. The list of references should be typed in double spacing and in numerical order on separate pages. The reference style of Index Medicus must be used (see examples below), including the abbreviations of Journal titles (Vancouver style). References to personal communications and to papers in preparation are included in parentheses in the text, and are accompanied by letters of permission from the cited persons. List all authors when six or fewer; when seven or more, list only the first six and add et al. You may wish to use a citation manager software, such as Reference Manager, to compile your references. The order and the punctuation are important and should conform to the following examples:


  1. Standard article

    Barton EN, Sargeant LA, Samuels D, Smith R, James J, Wilson R et al. A survey of chronic renal failure in Jamaica. West Indian Med J 2004; 53: 81-4.

  2. Editorials, abstracts, letters

    Harding S, Maynard M, Cruickshank JK, Gray L. Blood pressure and its determinant in Black Caribbean, Black African, South Asian and Caucasian adolescents in the MRC DASH study in Britain [Abstract]. West Indian Med J 2005; 45 (Suppl 2): 24.

    La Hee F. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [Editorial]. West Indian Med J 2002; 51: 137-8.


  1. Author

    Lowe HIC, Morrison EY St A. Marijuana, cannabis, ganja - the Jamaican connection. Kingston, Jamaica: Pelican Publishers Limited; 2001.

  2. Editors

    Bond GC, Kreniske J, Susser I, Vincent J, eds. AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. Boulder, CO: Westview Press; 1997.

  3. Chapter in a book

    Reid SD. Substance abuse. In: Hickling FW, Sorel E, eds. Images of Psychiatry: The Caribbean. Kingston: University of the West Indies; 2005: 198-231.

Electronic Sources

  1. Online article
  2. Hooper JF. Psychiatry and the Law: Forensic Psychiatric Resources Page [Internet]. Tuscaloosa (AL): University of Alabama, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology; 1999 Jan 1 [updated 2006 Jul 8; cited 2007 Feb 23]. Available from:

  3. Webpage

Medical Library Association. MLANET [Internet]. Chicago, IL: The Association; 1996 [rev. 1 Jan 2008; cited 24 Jan 2008]. Available from:


1. Thaffe N. Diabetes Week to focus on women. Jamaica Gleaner. 2011 Nov 14: News: 5.


Tables should be labelled and numbered in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3 etc) in the order in which they are cited in the text; if there is only one table, no numeral is necessary. Tables should be ruled as follows: necessary lines at the top for headings, no vertical or horizontal lines in the body except a line above and below the totals. All tables should be submitted in an editable format using either Microsoft Word or Excel.


Figures should be professionally drawn or prepared using a computer and high resolution printer. Submit three glossy prints of each figure or laser quality proofs for black and white figures (7.5 x 8.75 cm). Figures may also be submitted electronically to the Journal's e-mail address (see above). Electronic figures should be clearly labelled, have a minimum DPI of 300 and in the acceptable format of TIF or JPG. If there is only one figure, it does not carry numeracy. Arrows on the figure must point to the relevant details.

  1. Figures should be identified by writing in pencil on the back of each figure the number, the author's name and orientation (top).
  2. Legends to figures should be typed on a separate sheet of paper. Begin each legend with a short title. Explain all abbreviations and symbols used in the figure, even if they are explained in the text.
  3. Figures do not carry a title and all text should be legible.
  4. Authors must pay the full cost for reproduction of colour figures and


Financial support information, including the name of the granting agency and grant number (if any), persons who have provided technical support and those who have contributed to the scientific content, should be included in this section.


Proofs will be sent to all authors for minor corrections and approval.


If reprints are required, they must be requested in writing on receipt of the letter of acceptance, at which time an estimated cost of the reprints will be furnished. Actual cost can only be provided after publication, as this depends on the length of the article. No reprints will be provided when they are requested after this.

Conference Proceedings

The Journal also produces conference proceedings on request eg Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC), University of the West Indies Diabetes Outreach Project (UDOP) and Faculty of Medical Sciences Annual Research Day Conference. Others are welcomed.

Business Information

Copyright: Material printed in the Journal is covered by copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the Editor. Single photocopies may be made by individuals without obtaining prior permission.

Microform: The Journal is available in microform from Bell and Howell Information and Learning.

Abstracting and Indexing: The Journal is currently included in major abstracting and indexing services including Medline and MedCarib. The Journal is also available ahead-of-print on the Open Journal System, found at Abstracts, in both English and Spanish, are available on the Journal's website,


Patrias K. Citing medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers [Internet]. 2nd ed. Wendling DL, technical editor. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2007 [cited 2007 Oct 29]. Available from:


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2006 The University of the West Indies

West Indian Medical Journal, Faculty of Medical Sciences
The University of the West Indies, Kingston, 7, Jamaica
Tel.: (876) 927-1214
Fax.: (876) 927-1846